The curriculum for the Management Information System (MIS) offered by the American University of Sharjah requires that students attend Internships for a period of one and half months (American University of Sharjah, 2010). The internship is to provide students with the required technical knowledge and experience in their fields of study.
I was attached to Emirate National Bank of Dubai (ENBD) which has several departments including; loan and credit card, back office, teller, and customer service together with operation management departments. The assistant manager took me through the bank tour and also introduced me to all employees in the various departments.
At first, I was introduced to the different software solutions used which include; Finacle, FinnOne, and CRM, and a handbook on their various functions were given to me. Besides I was allowed to use their computer and apply what I had learned which gave me an opportunity to evaluate myself on what I had learned at the university.
The first software that I was instructed to use is Customer Relationship Management software, it allows one to access all the customer’s account details, customer credit card information, and their addresses together with their respective secret questions by typing the customer’s name or their mobile numbers. I practiced using the software by entering customer names and finding their account numbers and details.
With CRM software I found some challenges e.g. every time I wanted to make a new search I had to log out from the program and again login to it, This is time-consuming and am hoping that in future I can able to design a better software. I also learned how to work with FinnOne software that is designed specifically to calculate; loan payment, loan interest, and everything related to the loan calculation. With this kind of software, banks can handle a number of issues including application process for personal and home loans as well as auto loans among others.
I had to calculate the penalty of a given customer’s loan and to look at the major challenges affecting FinnOne. At First I entered the customer’s details into the software which automatically did the rest. The challenge facing this software is that whenever one enters the customer’s details, he has to first go to CRM software and gets those details which he transfers them into FinnOne and thus time consuming.
I served customers who wanted to make an early settlement of their loans, at first I checked the types of loan each customer had and then communicated to them the exact amount owed the bank. Most of these customers did not understand why they had paid more than the original amount of loan that they borrowed.
Some customers wanted to apply for release letters after they paying their auto loan, one customer wanted a release letter for his car and I had to verify if he had fully paid his auto loan before giving him the release letter. I learned the requirements of deferring the credit and loan payments by customers that have financial problems. One customer wanted to defer his personal loan payment and therefore he should not have had any late payment in the past six months, if he had any liability with the bank, then the bank could not accept his deferment application.
Finacle software that is able to address Islamic Banking had recently been installed at the bank. This software requires a lot of finance and banking knowledge and is an integration of CRM and FinnOne. Back office department is one of the most important sections in the banking industry and deals with clearance, sending and reporting of customer accounts to the main branch. The main task in this department is to review customer’s account applications. Most customers who came to open accounts at the bank were laborers who were uneducated and therefore made a lot of mistakes in filling their forms which would be rejected if sent to the main branch without correcting, To prevent this the department staff reviews each form carefully and if correction is needed, it is done before it is sent to the main branch. I was assigned the duty of revising and correcting the requests for change of addresses & contact details on the system before sending them to the main branch. In addition I had to go through each customer‘s account updating their requests besides correcting the wrongly filled forms.
For security reasons some accounts were blocked, this is because the bank is keeping an eye on transition of some customers from certain countries. One customer from Iraq had her account blocked because her uncle made a huge transition from seIraq to her account; this special case made the manager of the bank to request the customer to bring a proof letter for her money so as to unblock her account, later I collected all the blocked accounts and submitted them to the branch manager to await proof letters from account holders so as to be unblocked.
The teller department is responsible for; Receiving cheques and cash deposits, Withdrawing money, Exchanging currencies, Scanning TTs, Managing cheques, demand drafts, and providing quotations for exchange rates depending on the updated international rate sheets. The head of tellers section is responsible for; supervising tellers, handling cash balance, counting cash, doing cash audits, Transferring money to the vault, Training tellers on all transactions.
The software used in the teller section is Finacle the same software that the loans and credit department use and is designed with oracle that I had learned in MIS 303. The bank had a problem of not training their employees on how to use this software evidenced by complains from employees that it was not user friendly.
All cheques must go through cheque clearing process, only cheques that do not go through this process are those deposited or cashed at the same bank. In dealing with a bank out of the country, it needs to go through reserve bank of both countries, besides going through clearing house. During my training period I noticed that there were communication breakdowns e.g. one of the tellers did not understand Arabic which caused some communication problems while dealing with locals. Another major issue was that top management ignored some work procedures. For example, if any customer holds a priority account they did not ask him/her to sign in the transaction’s receipt which is a violation of company procedures. To counter these challenges I recommend that top managers should not discriminate customers, and that all employees be trained on the bank’s procedures besides training the tellers.
The customer service department gives application forms to the customers e.g. request for account closure, cash deposit machine failure, change of address or contact details, multiple request forms, package change request and opening accounts. Customer service section also gives customer account numbers when one loses one, they also issue cheque books to customers who have a current account with the bank. Sometimes the cash deposit machine had problems due to aging and thus takes customer’s money and does not deposit it to their account which has to be corrected by the bank technicians.
As a management information system student, attachment in the bank would provide me with the practical application of the systems in the banking industry. It would provide me with a clear understanding of what can be done as far as linking these systems to business is concerned. The internship would avail me an opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working one on one in an environment where MIS have been applied.
Relationship to Classroom Experience
All activities described above were connected to class work. Another service is internet banking which allows customers to access their account details, loan details, make payments and to transfer money to other accounts. This relates to theories of e-commerce. When a customer comes and wants to open an account he/she has to choose a package out of six packages available; personal banking, personal banking Plus, personal banking select, youth , corporate and staff depending on their salaries. The local branches as well as departments are placed under the administration of the operation management department. The job of the latter is to ensure that there is smooth flow of transactions in the bank. This department also deals with resolution of problems relating to the customer, and keeping of the customer records. They seek to improve banking experience for the customer as well as being informed of the latest developments in technology.
Some of the activities I undertook had a direct reflection to what was taught at the college, I learnt how to supervise one division and how to get the work done, a task related to my MIS 201 which is about the qualities of a good leader. Oracle is a useful software that most companies’ use and is taught at the university (MIS 201, 202 and 304) which gave me a lot of exposure to its practical use at the bank.
As regards checking the creditworthiness of the customer taught in class (Accounting 201), I gained experience on how to manage the accounts. This was being handled in the receivables department. In conclusion the internship was a successful training for my professional experience and skills as a Management Information System MIS student it also enabled me to match career choices with personal styles and capabilities. Moreover I understood business processes and how specific projects relate to larger business goals.
As a management information system student, attachment in the bank helped me to gain the practical application details regarding MIS systems in the banking industry. It provided me with a clear understanding of what is done as far as linking the systems to business are concerned. The internship availed me an opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working one on one in an environment where MIS have been applied. In addition, I was able to meet people and serve others as well in the field of banking. I was acquainted with the various challenges relating to MIS in banking industry and how these systems can be handled (e.g. security issues).
American university of Sharjah. (2009–2010). Internship handbook. American university of Sharjah. School of Business and Management.